Training is just something we must do in the corporate world right? We have to log into our company’s LMS yearly and trudge through those endless curriculums of compliance training.
But what if it wasn’t drudgery to take company training? What if it was actually interesting and applied to our job? God forbid but what if being shown how to mindlessly click through an app we actually got to do something remotely similar to what we’d do on the job!?
This all sounds a bit like a dream at this point, doesn’t it?
Do you mean relevant training? How could this be?
Could training be useful to our job and help us do our work better instead of just being something we must do? This could indeed be a reality if your organization and the people creating your training understand the importance of relevance in training.
Training is nothing like marketing where content is sometimes said to be king. Nope, in training the king of training is relevance.
Relevance is the pivotal factor that separates effective training from mere content overload. It’s not just about how training looks or the quality of its content. It could be the best content in the world but if it’s not relevant to employee’s work then it’s all useless.
It’s about aligning every aspect of the learning experience with the specific needs and goals of employees. This is why relevance is the most important aspect of corporate training.
But why exactly is relevance so crucial for training?
Well, picture this: an employee spends hours attending a training session on advanced data analysis techniques, only to find out that these methods have little to do with their day-to-day responsibilities.
Frustration, disengagement, and ultimately, wasted resources.
Corporate training should be a catalyst for growth, equipping employees with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles. Without relevance, however, the entire training process becomes an exercise in futility.
If a company hasn’t realized that all training should be performance-focused rather than learning-focused then they eventually will. Otherwise, training is an expense that will never pay off. Training is all about empowering employees to thrive in their roles and work towards their next big achievement.
Now, you might be wondering, what exactly makes a training program relevant? And how can organizations ensure that their training initiatives hit the mark?
This post will answer exactly those questions as we delve into the essence of relevance in corporate training.
We’ll explore the principles, strategies, and real-life examples that showcase the transformative impact of tailored, job-specific learning experiences. You will have a new outlook on what gets created and why, shifting the way you perceive training.
By the end of this post, you’ll be singing the tune of relevance being king of training.
The Importance of Relevance in Corporate Training
When it comes to corporate training, relevance is the key to success. When an instructional designer focuses on relevant content that applies to employee’s positions 100% then the content will be 100% useful and… 100% relevant to employees.
Relevance is what sets apart effective training programs from those that fall flat. The goal of any training initiative should be to align the learning experience with the specific needs and goals of the employees as well as company goals.
Every company has goals and top initiatives and it’s the job of Learning & Development to align with those. That will make training programs relevant to the company. But every department and employee also has goals that roll up to the organization’s goals.
So, every training program must align with company, department, project, and employee goals. That is ultimately what relevant training means. It means that training is serving the greater good of the company. Without it, training becomes nothing more than a waste of time and resources.
The importance of relevance in corporate training ultimately comes down to the training applying to employees and helping them do their jobs. While other goals are important, each employee typically only cares about their role and doing it well (I hope).
Without relevance, there are a lot of negative impacts and it won’t go over well with anyone. Why do you think compliance training has such a negative reputation?
The Negative Impact of Irrelevant Training
Irrelevant training can have detrimental effects on both individuals and organizations as a whole. When employees are subjected to irrelevant content, they become disengaged and demotivated. They may feel like their time is being wasted on information that has no practical application in their work.
The worst part? An employee’s impression of company training isn’t likely to be relegated to a single session. If they have to take too much irrelevant training then it’s likely going to affect all future training too. Every time they hear another course is required you’ll get a big eye roll.
And that also means that employees will absolutely never seek out any company training on their own. Then L&D is only useful when it’s required and even then the purpose of training will never be achieved.
This lack of engagement and interest in professional development within the company leads to decreased productivity and performance. Employees who do not see the value in company training aren’t likely to apply what they have learned in real-life situations.
That’s because they haven’t learned anything relevant to their role!
And none of that is the employee’s fault since irrelevant training is being created by… You guessed it, L&D.
As a result, even if there are some useful nuggets of information in the training it’s going to be missed. That’s one reason why it’s so important to focus on training and get the right goals. It remains true that nothing is important if everything is important.
When instructional designers and L&D do poor-quality work then employees suffer and companies may experience missed opportunities, increased errors, and decreased overall efficiency.
Another bad impact of irrelevant training is high turnover rates. Just as a lack of training leads to high turnover, training with a lack of relevance can also do the same because that type of training is as good as nothing. Only good digital training reduces employee turnover, bad training can increase it just as much as no training at all.
Employees who feel undervalued or unchallenged are more likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. This can be a significant loss for organizations, as they invest time and resources into training employees who ultimately leave.
That is they invested the wrong time and resources by creating training that simply didn’t meet the needs of employees.
You now know that relevance is important to corporate training and irrelevant training has many negative impacts on the organization. But what exactly is relevance in corporate training?
Defining Relevance in Corporate Training
Relevance in corporate training refers to the alignment between the content and objectives of the training program with the specific needs and goals of employees. That’s after the overall goal of training is aligned with the goals and objectives of the organization too.
But, for effective training from the perspective of employees, relevance means providing them with knowledge and skills that directly apply to their roles and responsibilities. Relevant training takes into account the unique challenges and requirements of different job functions within an organization.
For technical training, relevance recognizes how specific roles use different systems and what their primary use is for a system. In some cases that means training can’t be 100% personalized for every role but overall it should be easy to apply to them relatively closely.
An example of this is training about different reports and dashboards in a medical application. The primary user might be a registered nurse (RN) which means the training could be tailored to them specifically.
A physician might also take the same training, though, in which case it’s not 100% tailored to them. Especially if they’re an extremely small audience that doesn’t justify creating a specific training for them. It could still be very relevant to them even though it’s not tailored to them specifically.
Not all employees have the same job or even do their job in the same way. Another technical training example is a new process for clocking into work. Field employees might use a time clock whereas office employees might use their computer. It would be terribly wasteful and irrelevant if an office employee had to learn about the time clock. They’re likely to tune out completely and miss what’s important to them.
By tailoring training to individual roles (or at least specific workflows if there is some role overlap), organizations can ensure that employees receive the most valuable and applicable information in their training.
That is what relevance in corporate training is. And creating training focused on relevance first has a transformative impact on how employees are trained.
The Transformative Impact of Tailored, Job-Specific Learning Experiences
When training is tailored to individual job roles, it has a transformative impact on both individuals and organizations. Employees feel valued and supported when they receive training that directly relates to their work.
Previously boring training all of a sudden becomes interesting and helpful. Not only with L&D get a better reputation but they’ll start helping employees rather than hindering them or wasting their time.
With relevant training employees will see how their new skills and knowledge can be applied in practical situations, leading to increased motivation and engagement. Job-specific learning experiences also enable employees to develop specialized expertise in their respective fields.
This not only benefits individuals but also enhances overall organizational performance. When employees are equipped with job-specific skills, they become more efficient, productive, and innovative in their work.
When training programs are focused on specific skill gaps or challenges in the organization, they will become more valuable to the organization. By focusing on relevant content, companies can strategically improve areas that are crucial for business success.
Relavance is king in training and once training programs are created with relevance in mind they will have a transformative effect on the organization. Training will then create tremendous value for employees and the business will recognize this.
Key Principles and Strategies For Creating Relevant Training
To create relevant training, good instructional design is at its core because each instructional designer has the power to make training relevant. At a higher level, L&D and organizations should consider the following key tactics as essential to factor into their training design time.
- Needs Assessment: Analysis is at the core of relevant training and is right up there in importance with design which is why agree with the saying that without A and D then instruction will be left to DIE. Yes, every training initiative should begin with a thorough analysis of the learning needs and goals of employees. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or performance evaluations.
- Targeted Content: Develop training materials that directly address the identified needs and goals. What do employees need to know to do their job on day one? The goal of training shouldn’t be to make experts out of employees (at least not first). It should be to get them going with what they need on day one, then week one, and so on. Focus on practical skills and knowledge that can (and need to) be immediately applied in the workplace.
- Personalization: Customize training programs to individual job roles or tasks in their role. This isn’t always practical but do the best you can. It doesn’t make sense to spend $15,000 on training 30 people. Sometimes the personalization is best left to a small training session or even small group coaching.
- Ongoing Evaluation: Just like analysis and design is important to training, so is evaluation. Make sure training isn’t launched and then forgotten about. Continue to assess the effectiveness of training programs and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and other data.
By focusing on these tactics, instructional designers, learning and development leaders, and organizations can ensure that their training initiatives are relevant, impactful, and aligned with the needs of their workforce.
If they don’t then I guess they all just like throwing money away. Just remember, instructional designers and L&D are in the business of improving performance and helping employees do their jobs, not creating training, learning, or anything else like that.
Relevance is the most important aspect of corporate training. Without it, training becomes a futile exercise that wastes time, resources, and the goodwill of employees. Irrelevant training leads to disengagement, decreased productivity, and high turnover rates.
On the other hand, relevant training has a transformative impact on individuals and organizations alike.
To create relevant training programs, training professionals must consider the unique needs and goals that employees have for their jobs. Performance should be the focus, never just learning. Learning is only as good as it leads to performance improvements.
By tailoring content to specific tasks and providing targeted learning experiences, companies can empower their workforce to excel in their professional endeavors. The key tactics of needs assessment, targeted content development, personalization, and ongoing evaluation are essential for creating effective and relevant training initiatives.
In a world where continuous learning is crucial for success, organizations must prioritize relevance in their corporate training efforts. By doing so, they will not only invest in the growth of their employees but also drive organizational performance.
One of the most important first steps you can take in focusing on relevant training is working with instructional design consultants who are focused on performance and relevant training. Start by scheduling a free consultation with us so we can see if there’s a good fit to work together in transforming the effect training has on your organization.